August 29, 2014
Cyclones win home opener
In their home opener Aug. 28, the Cyclones defeated Olivet Nazarene University in an
organized scrimmage: 25-23, 15-25, 25-19, 25-14.
Running the offense was Bridget Ferrin with 33 assists, two blocks, two kills and an ace. Outside hitter Carly Trinley led all attackers with 13 kills and two aces. Middles Alex Bojan (10 kills, two blocks), Jessica Chaput (five kills) and Kate Patnett (five kills, one block) each had a solid game. Libero Carolyn Yerkes (four aces) and outside Kayla Manthei (two aces) both had great serving.
The team is preparing for their next tough matchup at home with Kankakee Community College on Sept. 3 at 6 p.m.
August 27, 2014
Cyclones take down Hawks
Grabbing their third win of the season on Aug. 26, the Cyclones handily defeated
Malcolm X College in three: 25-17, 25-16, and 25-15.
Leading the offensive charge was Donna Killeen with five kills and Alex Bojan with eight kills. Setting the table for the offense was Carly Trinley who posted 14 assists. Killeen also chipped in five digs alongside Carolyn Yerkes’s nine to pace the Cyclones’ defensive effort. Behind the service line, Kayla Manthei led the way with three aces for the night.
The Cyclones play their first home match in the new Health, Fitness & Recreation Center this Thursday at 7 p.m. against Olivet Nazarene University.
August 24, 2014
Cyclones start season with weekend split
The Cyclones started their 2014 campaign by competing at the 19th Annual College
of DuPage Invitational, Aug. 22-23, splitting the weekend.
On the first day of competition, Moraine Valley defeated the host school: 25-11, 25-16, 25-19. Leading the way was Shannon Gardner and Alex Bojan who each had four kills on five swings. Setter Carly Trinley ran the offense with 13 assists while contributing two block assists and 11 digs. Defensively, Carolyn Yerkes had a solid game, passing at a 2.57 serve receive efficiency with nine digs.
The Cyclones’ second match resulted in a forfeit thanks to an absent Riverland Community College squad. That placed Moraine Valley in a pool with Harper College as their opponent on Aug. 23.
Hitting errors plagued the Cyclones as they committed 30 through three sets for a loss against the NJCAA Division III number 10 ranked Harper: 15-25, 16-25, 19-25. Once again Bojan led (six kills on 12 swings) followed by Trinley (16 assists, eight digs) and Yerkes (nine digs and 2.67 in serve receive).
Next up was the number one ranked team, Madison College. After coming out slow for a first game loss, 11-25, the Cyclones fought their way back to take game two, 25-23. Although Moraine Valley fell in the final two sets—13-25 and 16-25—the scores were not indicative of how close they were. Kate Patnett stepped up in the middle with five kills on nine swings and also led the team with four block assists. Donna Killeen (three kills, 12 digs) and Kayla Manthei (three kills, eight digs and a 2.39 in serve receive) both had solid games as outside hitters. At Libero, Yerkes registered 21 digs while setter Trinley had 15 digs and 15 assists. Gardner received All-Tournament honors for her play at outside hitter.
August 23, 2014
Cyclones looking for continued success with new players and new coaching staff
Change is hard, but high expectations haven’t changed for the Cyclone volleyball
team. With a new coaching staff and 10 newcomers on the squad, Moraine Valley
has adjustments to make while keeping their eyes on more championships.
With the pressures of taking over a team that took Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference and NJCAA Region IV championships as well as a trip to nationals the past two seasons, new head coach Mark Johnston is ready and excited to continue his predecessor’s winning tradition.
Johnston has been the boys’ and girls’ volleyball coach at St. Ignatius College Prep for nearly 10 years. He was primarily a setter at Lakeland College in Wisconsin, where he earned several honors and helped his team to some top finishes. Johnston has introduced a new offense and defense with the same goals as his predecessor. He’ll be joined on the sidelines by new assistant coach Thomas Ryan.
“I believe we have what it takes to win conference and ultimately earn another bid to nationals. We will be very strong on the defensive side of the ball this year. We have a very solid block and our back row play will be our biggest strength,” Johnston said. “We also have 14 athletes on the roster this year, making the team deep at every position.”
Leading the way will be the main defensive specialists—last year's Libero Kayla Manthei (Lincoln-Way North) and newcomer Carolyn Yerkes (Marist). They are going to get a lot of touches this year and happen to both be good servers as well.
Cyclones 2014 softball Conference Player of the Year and first-year Cyclone volleyball player Carly Trinley (Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences) and freshman Bridget Ferrin (Richards) will see a lot of time in the setting position. Trinley also is a strong attacker and passer and will be asked to contribute as a pin hitter. Ferrin has good hands and is quick on her right-back defense.
The middles are led by 6-foot-1 sophomore Alex Bojan (Guerin Prep), who was last year's second leading blocker. She is quick to the ball and covers a lot of ground when blocking. At 5’11”, sophomore Jessica Chaput (Shepard) is a smart hitter and natural blocker. Newcomers Kate Patnett (Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences) at 6-foot and Morgan Hickman (Stagg) at 6-foot-3 also will see a lot of time in the middle.
Jordan Kelley (Oak Forest/Prairie State), Shannon Gardner (Richards) and Donna Killeen (Marist) will be the pin hitters. This trio will see the majority of their time on the outside. All three are strong hitters with good shots. Other pins will be returner Colleen Kull (Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences) and freshman Allison Nash (Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences), who will see time on the right side. At 6-foot, Kull brings a big block on the right while Nash provides offense from the back row. Amanda Host (Tinley Park) will be the utility player and asked to play multiple positions.
“We are very deep in every position. These athletes will be able to play multiple roles on the team this year. This will make us very strong because we will be able to adjust to our opponents’ strengths and weaknesses more easily. We are going to be a very hard team to score points against,” Johnston said.
August 22, 2014
Cyclones welcome new coach
There’s been a changing of the guard for the Cyclones volleyball team. After 21
years, head coach Gloria Coughlin retired, passing the reins to Mark Johnston.
And he’s happy to be here.
“I am extremely fortunate that the position was open when it was. It was great timing and too good to pass for a number of reasons,” he said. “Moraine Valley volleyball is a very successful, established program, and I plan on doing some great things here. There is a lot of volleyball talent in our district.”
Johnston has an extensive background in playing and coaching the game. He even intended to play volleyball at Moraine Valley after graduating from Eisenhower High School. Coughlin coached the short-lived men’s team, which was discontinued the year Johnston started at the college. Instead, he helped Coughlin coach the women’s team while taking classes before transferring to Lakeland College in Wisconsin. As a setter, and sometimes Libero, Johnston over the years helped his team reach fifth, third and first place finishes at the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association National Tournament. He also earned Most Valuable Bench, Most Improved, Conference MVP, and All-Conference as a setter in that time.
In addition to working in the Dean’s Office at Saint Ignatius College Prep, Johnston has been the boys’ volleyball coach since 2006 and held multiple positions with the girls’ team since 2005. Since taking over the high school team, his squad has amassed a 157-135 overall record and defeated heavy-hitters Brother Rice, Loyola, Providence, St. Rita and Mt. Carmel high schools in the Chicago Catholic League.
Johnston has some big shoes to fill, as Coughlin had a 523-317 career record with two trips to the NJCAA Division II Championships, seven Coach of the Year awards and several Hall of Fame inductions. But he’s ready to step up.
“I definitely have some big shoes to fill. Gloria has been very successful here, especially in the last couple years. She is a hard but very fair coach. She ran a really tight ship here, and I have been and will be picking her brain about a lot of things,” Johnston said. “This will be new for me, but I am ready and have been waiting for a challenge like this. Now is a great time for me to make the transition from high school to college volleyball. I feel like I have been coaching long enough where I can bring a lot to this program. This is a golden opportunity for me to learn more about the game at a much more advanced level.”
As with all change, Johnston is bringing his style and feel to the court with the same high goals in mind as his predecessor.
“Change is always good in volleyball. The game is always evolving and the philosophies that I bring in will definitely be different than what the girls have done in the past. I have already introduced a new offense and defense to them. It's going to take some time for them to buy into my system,” he said. “I have always thought of volleyball as a game of chess. If the other team does this, what are we going to do about it? As long as we play smarter and harder than the other team, we are going to be very successful.”
Not only does Johnston expect a lot from his players on the court, but in the classroom as well. “My first expectation for my team will be in the classroom. They are students first. With the help from our athletic department, I will be keeping a close watch on them to make sure that they are succeeding in the classroom, getting their associate’s degree and moving on to a four-year college or university that best fits them,” he said. “On the court, I want to win our conference and ultimately earn a bid to our national tournament in Arizona. That's where they have been the last couple of years, and I don't plan on taking any steps back.”